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Saturday, September 27, 2003

The Cure for Modern Slavery
President Bush and National Geographic Magazine have highlighted the surge of slavery in our modern world. There are many kinds of slaves, mostly for labor or sexual exploitation, but one cause of its proliferation is very clear. It is overly restrictive immigration policies that create the desparation for people to put themselves in positions that they can be enslaved from.
Imagine living in a poor or oppressed country, such as much of Mexico, or eastern Europe. Some people prosper in such places, but many cannot escape onerous poverty or fear. From a moral point of view we can't fault people for wishing to escape from such a life and enter a democratic republic where they see so much prosperity. In fact, I almost lack respect for those who choose not to escape.

But entering these prosperous nations is illegal, they must be smuggled in, and smugglers are by definition willing to take great risks to make money. It's hardly surprising that some of them enslave their clients. Or their cargo, to state their point of view.

The emigre seeking a new home must put his life in the hands of a criminal and can only hope that he gets to the place he wishes to reach. They have no guarantee, and no refund.

So the obvious solution, as with everything, is to eliminate the government coercion that makes slavery possible. Eliminate the immigration controls that make this market of human chattel possible. Immigration control should be limited only to verifying that immigrants are not criminals or enemies of our safety such as terrorists.

There are two main arguments against this approach, both of which are pitiful. The first is that these immigrants will only come here to instantly be put on welfare.

The complaint is that poor immigrants suck up government money, that is the taxpayers' money, because many of them won't find work and will be on welfare, or that they can't afford medical bills so they suck up medicare . They also resent paying money to put their children through school. This is even worse in California where even illegal immigrants get undergraduate and graduate degrees subsidized by the government. Naturally, those who pay the taxes to subsidize this largess are afraid that eliminating immigration controls will leave them bankrupt from paying for all this socialism. They insist that immigration be more tightly controlled to protect them from further excesses of socialist spending. Of course, this is backwards.

This is the reason why socialism is so evil, and I'm continually shocked that people can't extend their minds to see this inevitable result of taking money from some people and giving it to others. Socialism not only redistributes your money to those who didn't earn it, it also inevitably causes people to call for more controls over anything that affects that cost. They demand control over your smoking because they pay for your cancer treatments. They demand control over what your child learns in school. They demand that good people be kept out of our nation and kept in poverty and oppression.

The only escape from tyranny or starvation for these people sometimes is to risk being smuggled into a nation where they have a chance to live. Once in the smugglers' control, they can become victims of the slave trade.

Welfare causes immigration control, which causes slavery. Freedom causes prosperity. Why do we insist on policies that by definition and design are doomed to create slaves?

The second argument is even more pitiful than the first. The citizens of the prosperous country that these huddled masses wish to escape to often fear that these new immigrants would rob them of their jobs. First, these immigrants are poor, often poorly educated, and usually don't speak the language of their new home well if at all. That natives to that country are afraid of these people taking their job is a pathetic statement of their own capabilities. I'll say it flat out: If you can't compete with these wretches for a job, you deserve to be put out of work. Pathetic. How many Americans, for example, even want to work picking tomatoes? It's miserable work. But there are many people who would gladly do it to escape from where they are.

But the immigration restrictions encourage people to enslave immigrants for cheap labor, and being slaves they needn't even bother with worker safety, proper wages, etc.

If Bush is serious about stopping or curtailing slavery, he will decimate the INS. Until he does this, the war on slavery will just be another incompetent, pork laden government program like FEMA, Medicare, and public schools among many others. Instead of ending the cause of slavery, he will use the issue of slavery to stir up public support for spending more of our money.

Friday, September 19, 2003

What Happened to the ComIntern?
Discipline. That's the buzzword I read about most when I read about the Communist International. It was quite strong for the entire 20th century, especially under the boot of Joseph Stalin. The communists of that era speak often of party discipline, of the need to forego one's own mind and thoughts and accept the thoughts of the ComIntern. Stalin said in 1929, in settling a factional dispute among the Communist Party USA:

Members of the American Delegation, do you think that the conscience and convictions of Comrade Gitlow are above the conscience and convictions of the overwhelming majority of the Presidium of the ECCI (Executive Committee of the Communist International)? Do you begin to understand that if each of us starts to act according to his own will without reckoning with the will of the collective, we shall never come to any decision; we shall never have any collective will, nor any leadership?
Stalin, of course, was the sole majority vote of the ECCI. He demanded absolute obedience, or discipline, of his followers, no matter what country they lived in. Ernest Hemingway speaks often of the party discipline that the Spanish Replubicans were expected to show to the party during the Spanish Civil War, and of course the party was controlled by Stalin. Dissenters from this discipline, including the Prime Minister, were attacked, arrested and usually executed. Discipline was expected to be absolute and was enforced absolutely. Hemingway frequently had characters in his novels calling for party discipline on the most mundane matters, from hygiene to courage under fire.

The call for party discipline was a common refrain of all communists, from Russia, to Cuba, to Germany, to Spain, to the United States. In particular, the open calls to create a Soviet America through the discipline of the party and the overthrow of the US government and the establishment of a dictatorship of the Proletariat are particularly chilling.

No Communist, no matter how many votes he should secure in a national election, could, even if he would, become president of the present government. When a Communist heads a government in the United States - and that day will come just as surely as the sun rises - that government will not be a capitalist government but a Soviet government, and behind this government will stand the Red Army to enforce the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. William Z. Foster, Communist Party of the USA candidate for President of the United States, 1932.

The ComIntern controlled the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) which took no action, no matter how trivial, without explicit direction. Not only were there numerous spy rings, the ComIntern ordered members to different posts and countries for training, operations, and for committing assasinations and murders, such as the murder of Trotsky which was organized by American communists. Orders were obeyed unquestioningly.

So there was discipline, and the term was used among themselves to nurture and strengthen the hold this discipline had on their collective. We have documented evidence of this discipline and we know that party members not only stole nuclear and other military secrets, but that they occupied key positions within all branches of government. The most horrifying to me is Harry Hopkins, Roosevelt's personal confidante and aide and the most powerful member of his administration. Hopkins flew to Moscow many times during WWII to negotiate lend lease, and details of fighting the war with Germany and how to divide Germany after its defeat. Hopkins' role as a communist spy is not speculation, but is proven by intercepted codes and by documents retrieved from the former USSR.

But I digress. Communists were prevalent in the US, they were disciplined, and they were controlled by Stalin. After the Rosenbergs were executed for Treason, we heard little direct communist propaganda or slogans, and the CPUSA faded to obscurity. But where did all these communists go? What happened to all these disciplined people?

Stalin is dead, and the cult of Stalin in the USSR was repudiated so clearly he and his cult no longer are in charge, but there was a deep network of spies and party members that didn't suddenly disappear. I've always wondered where they went. I don't have fully documented answers, but here are my observations.

In my old apartment complex in Austin, a whacky family moved in from California. The daughter wore a mohawk, dyed her hair black, wore army boots, and generally had a gothic look. She would have been cute if she weren't such a freak, and she had a pleasant, if dimwitted personality. Her mother bragged to me that her daughter was a member of Earth First! and other terrorist organizations and that she knew that her daughter was friends with people who planted bombs in mink farms.

This young girl talked with me many times about being a skinhead, and how the younger (she was only 19 years old herself) skinheads didn't understand the discipline -- they didn't keep their boots polished, they didn't keep up with the latest slogans, etc. Her attitude seemed eerily familiar to my readings of the history of the ComIntern. She spoke a lot about the evils of "globalization."

Shortly thereafter, the riots broke out in Seattle during the WTO meeting. The press never investigated who organized and funded the training for these disciplined rioters, but they did say early on that the ILWU was very active in the "protests."

I used to work in a factory that was staffed by ILWU workers, so I happened to know that the ILWU was led by card carrying communists. Their rhetoric came right out of the 1930's ComIntern handbook, anyway.

I also said that the ComIntern would send people to Moscow for training, such as in radios and for political indoctrination. The ComIntern was a big organization and couldn't have ended over night. Stalin no longer controls the ComIntern, possibly the Soviets don't either, but that movement and its discipline probably still exists, controlled by someone or some group.

Could it be that the ComIntern ordered the majority of its members underground and maintained its hold on some of the more militant labor unions? Could it be that some politicians, such as the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who is closely associated with communist movements, be actually part of the successor of the ComIntern?

I don't know who controls the ComIntern today. I haven't discovered that, maybe someone else knows.
But just what was Bill Clinton doing in Moscow in the late 60's? Whom did he meet with, and what was he there to learn?

Has anyone paid much attention to the "discipline" of the Clintonistas and how they can so easily turn and change the direction of most of the Democratic party over night? How did an obscure general suddenly get four stars and an Area Command seemingly overnight? How did this general rise from his continued obscurity after waging an obscure war in Europe to become the darling of the Democratic Presidential Candidates merely on the command of Bill Clinton? What kind of discipline causes this sudden outpouring of support?

There, I've been wanting to ask these questions for 10 years. I'm not sure I know the answers, but I'm shocked that no one else has asked them. I feel so much better now.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

The Next Peloponnesian War (Between the United States and Europe)
The Peloponnesian War was an epic struggle among the Greeks, sort of a cross between a world war and a civil war. It was one of the most tragic wastes of life, money, and power ever witnessed in ancient civilization. The Greeks had succeeded in establishing the most successful large democratic societies to exist. Their government allowed freedom and equality to an extent never before allowed in recorded history. Yes, they had slaves, and other segments of society were not given full franchisement or rights and some city states were nothing less than what we would today call fascist militarism, but for the times their emphasis on individual rights was unparalleled.

In a loose parallel, we can equate the Greeks of the Greek peninsula, with what we're seeing now in Western Civilization: Europe and the New World. Europe and the United States, playing the roles of Athens and Sparta, are peoples who once were united but now inexplicably seem to be more concerned with exerting power over each other rather than completing the establishment of their role as the dominant civilizing influence over the world.
In the mid fifth century before the Christian era, the biggest world power (excepting perhaps China) was rooted in the cradle of civilization, the Persian Empire, or as the Greeks often erroneously called them, the Medes. The Medes were ruled by the Great King who had taken control of Greek city states in Anatolia and the along the coast of the Black Sea. The mainland Greeks had a sense of identity with their cultural and ethnic kin in these areas, indeed many of those city states were considered colonies. After the Great King recognized that the mainland Greeks were agitating to wrest his control from these "medized" states, he decided to put the rest of Greece under his heel as well. Two invasions were made, both ending in improbable and embarrassing defeats of the Persians by a united Helenistic league. The battles of Thermopylae, Marathon, and Salamis resound through history as some of the greatest victories for western civilization. They were possible only because nearly all of the city states, principally Athens and Sparta, united to overthrow the Medes.

But the unfortunate reality is that after these fantastic successes, the Greeks failed to remain united. In the absence of a threat to them all, they struggled to become each dominant over the other. Blind ambition, arrogant pride, and all the other foibles of human nature combined to deny the Greeks what they could have attained. It's a classic case of the best losing because they were the best. Athens and Sparta fought for decades to try to dominate all the Helenes, even as far as Syracuse on the island of Sicily. They tore each other to shreds, encouraged by the Persians who learned to stop invading and to invest instead: The Persians sent money to whichever side was losing in an effort to prolong the war.

In the end, no one won. Even the Persians soon found themselves being invaded by mercenary Greeks, who had become the best trained military in the world due to their unique culture and because of their advancements in military tactics and armament. The Persian Empire was dying and was barely holding on to its own existence. Even then, they continued to play the Greeks off on each other.

Finally, the Macedonians stepped in and conquered their Greek cousins to the south, and Alexander the Macedonian conquered most of the world between China and Greece. But he died too soon leaving a power vacuum that allowed the Romans, flush from amazing victories over Carthage to finally, decisively control the entire Mediterranian littorals and most of Persia.

Okay, I had too much fun relating the history. How does any of this relate to the US and Europe? The Greeks, who were potentially the pre-eminent military power of the world, failed to unite and instead fought for dominance among themselves -- causing them to be subjugated by others in the end. Their glory was relatively brief.

So here we are, fresh after the end of two world wars. We have destroyed the hun, and emasculated the bear. Why, then, are we at odds with our former allies in Europe? Why are they seemingly hell bent on embarrassing the US?

It's just human nature. As Thucydides said in the Melian dialog, "Of men we know and of the gods we suspect, that they will rule whenever they can." If we continue on this path, the European Union will become a dangerous rival. They will soon have a military power that might rival our own if they wish and can summon the will to do so.

So how do we stop this? Human nature teaches us that we will not unite without a mutual threat. So we must dominate them one way or another, or become dominated ourselves. A military solution would be disastrous. Instead we must continue to use politics to divide them, play havoc with their internal alliances. Rather than be like Athens and Sparta, we should play the role of the Persians and play the Europeans off of each other.

This is necessary. It is not a malicious act, it is a required act. The more we can prevent bloodshed by playing the United Kingdom and Spain in political opposition to Germany and France, and teach Poland and the Czechs to trust and depend on us instead of them, the better it will be for the future of humanity.
History has taught us that all civilizations crumble, but this is not necessarily inevitable. Entropy conquers all, or so science tells us, but with the application of intelligence, by using the opposite of entropy, man's mind, we can extend peace and prosperity indefinitely. The Roman Empire lasted for centuries, we can last for millenia if we're smart about it. We must not allow the petty bickering of friends and the power struggles of allies to develop into the destruction of civilization. There is no Rome to save us, we are the final arbiter of peace and stability. The world is at stake. We must, using intelligence and the protection of individual freedoms, maintain peaceful civilization.